This proposal is authored by Mantle Core Team.
The Mantle team is committed to bringing the best technology and most innovative models to the web3 space to further the BitDAO goal of mass adoption of web3 technology.
While we have our own perspectives and ongoing evaluations, being a community-owned and community-governed chain, we invite the $BIT community and the broader web3 ecosystem to share their thoughts on key decisions.
The objective of this forum thread is to enable the community to participate in early thoughts on, and provide feedback related to:
- Exploring a zkEVM network for the Mainnet.
- Working with a partner on core zkEVM infrastructure versus building zkEVM from scratch by ourselves, thus streamlining the team’s focus on improving modularity and user experience.
- The strategy of parallel development of the Mantle Optimistic network, which is currently in testnet.
Note: No zkEVM solution has been fully deployed in production, which indicates some degree of development complexity and uncertain timelines.
Time to market
Synergies through partnerships (cost, ecosystem, shared areas of focus)
Commercial terms of the partnership
Difference in user experience (especially L2-to-L1 bridge)
Difference in developer experience (including EVM compatibility, and future language support)
Impact on Mantle modular blockchain philosophy and future flexibility
Ethereum L2 Rollup Evolution
With the Shanghai Fork and the implementation of proto-danksharding, the rollup design will continue to see improvements in both performance and costs. The data availability setup will allow rollups to offset costs related to the posting of call data, making rollups more performant and applicable to a wider variety of use cases.
ZK Rollups vs Optimistic Rollups
Our research team has been closely monitoring the zkRollup space with great interest. Over the past 6 months, we have seen zkEVM’s go from being in testnet phase to potential mainnet implementations. Over the past few weeks, more teams have updated their codebases, which allows us to research their tech stack and run performance and compatibility tests.
The current generation of zkEVMs are undergoing rapid optimization with teams constantly innovating on prover designs. With proof generation to be further optimized through hardware setups like GPU’s or FPGA’s, it seems that zkEVM’s will continue to improve on network performance and costs.
The Mantle core team has developed an Optimistic Rollup based on the OP stack - the testnet is already live. We have incorporated several novel design features like modular design of the chain components, Multiparty Computation to reduce L2->L1 exit time and integration of EigenLayer for Data Availability. The Mantle Optimistic testnet is already cutting edge in features and performance. However, the zk stack does offer some additional advantages such as improved security, instant L2->L1 fund transfer, and better scalability with recursive proof in the future.
Mantle is committed to bringing the most innovative and forward-looking technology to the market and there could be merit in going live with a zkEVM mainnet. We invite industry leaders, researchers and community members to share your perspectives and contribute to our zkEVM benchmarking exercise.
Simultaneously, we will continue to build out our optimistic rollup testnet and deliver on our previously communicated roadmap on sequencer design and fraud proof implementation. The team is actively working on this and we will be moving towards more infrastructure improvements and security audits in the weeks to come.
This validates our internal design decisions around building a modular stack. We are committed to building data availability into our rollup design so that we can achieve higher performance and lower costs, both being very important when building for web3 mass adoption. Our close work with the EigenLayer team has allowed us to integrate data availability into our current Optimistic Rollup testnet and we are excited to see how developers will leverage this layer to create more value and utility for the user.
Collaboration vs Owning Technology
At Mantle we have also been looking at innovative models of partnerships which we can bring to the world of Web3.
Today all blockchain networks are trying to solve both technology and ecosystem at the same time. Solving two very difficult and expensive problems simultaneously, puts pressure on the token treasury and forces teams to build large technology and business teams in order to stay ahead of the competition. The impact of this can also be tracked on-chain and one can observe how token treasuries of widely adopted chains have been depleting rapidly. This will eventually impact the mass adoption of web3 technology as teams will struggle to build with changing market cycles.
Mantle has a very clear strength when it comes to ecosystem building. By virtue of being a BitDAO incubated project, Mantle has access to all the current and future BitDAO ecosystem partners, such as Game7, EduDAO, and Bybit. Furthermore, having a large pool of decentralized liquidity (BitDAO) and the support of a leading exchange (Bybit) is a competitive advantage which is almost impossible to replicate.
We believe that a model built around collaborating entities, where one entity focuses on building infrastructure and the other on ecosystem building can be more capitally and operationally efficient.
Collaboration With a Technology Partner
If Mantle chooses to work with an infrastructure partner, the team can focus on its strength without having to dedicate massive resources to building and iterating on blockchain infrastructure. As long as there is a clear value accrual between the two entities involved, this would cement a true partnership built on mutual collaboration and value creation, e.g. Mantle runs a zkRollup chain and shares economic inputs with the infra partner who has provided the technology, such as execution layer gas fees, or other modular stack economic outputs.
Our tech teams will continue to develop features such as DA integration, sequencer decentralization, user experience improvement, and also actively contribute to the core tech stack.
The other option is to fork an existing tech stack and make improvements. This allows Mantle to own the technology stack and mould it based on its needs. However, this will also require Mantle to expand resources on building technology and be responsible for the chain’s evolution and improvements.
Your Opinion Matters
For the Mantle team, mass adoption of web3 technology is the main goal. We want to move ahead with a model which has the highest chance of success when it comes to onboarding millions of new users and developers onto web3.
We invite the community to share your opinion on Mantle technical roadmap and execution model. We are considering running a zkEVM testnet in parallel so that users and developers can gain first hand experience and battle test the technology. The core team will make a final mainnet decision based on technology maturity, specifications and overall compatibility.
- Collaborates with a tech partner on zkEVM
- Builds or forks zkEVM in house